Stage 2 Meaningful Use Criteria Raise Stakes to Receive Incentive Payments for EHR Adoption

August 29, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is raising the stakes for hospitals and physician practices seeking Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments if they can demonstrate that they are meaningful users of certified electronic health records (EHRs). The agency has released the final rule for Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs to promote EHR use. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology issued a companion rule that establishes EHR certification criteria, standards, and implementation specifications for Stage 2. To qualify for Stage 2 incentive payments, providers must attest to meeting the Stage 2 meaningful use criteria by July 1, 2014. The rule also establishes payment penalties, which CMS will start enforcing in fiscal year 2015, for providers that fail to meet meaningful use.

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